Steamed Rice and Sushi Rice

by Celeste Heiter, Dec 28, 2002 | Destinations: Japan / Tokyo

The preparation of rice for serving plain as a side dish or as a base for donburi rice bowls is a different process from rice to be used for sushi. Recipes for both are included here.

If you have an automatic rice cooker, simply follow the cooking instructions that came with it. For sushi rice, cook the rice in the automatic steamer and follow the vinegar dressing and cooling instructions below.

Plain White Rice (Serves 4)

2 cups dried white rice
2 ½ cups water

Thoroughly rinse the rice in a sieve until the rinse water runs clear. Place the rice and the water in a heavy kettle or saucepan and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with chopsticks or a wooden rice paddle. Serve immediately.

Sushi Rice (Makes 6 cups)

3 cups dry white sushi-grade rice
3 cups water
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Cook the rice in an automatic rice steamer, or use the stovetop instructions above. When the rice is done, dissolve the sugar and salt in the rice wine vinegar in a small pan over low heat. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture into the cooked rice and fluff gently with a wooden rice paddle to mix.

Place the cooked rice in a large wooden bowl or spread on a baking sheet to cool. Fan the rice with a pleated fan or piece of stiff paper for 8 to 10 minutes. This will produce an attractive sheen and helps keep the rice sticky. When the rice is cool to the touch, you can begin using it to make sushi.